1. Find a toddler. They’re usually the two foot high maniacs running around the house with a fistful of Goldfish screaming “Mine! Mine! Mine! Nooooo! Wahhh! I don’t wanna!” before crashing face first into the coffee table.
2. Once said toddler is in your clutches, remove their clothing as fast as humanly possible. Since there is a 100% chance they will not be cooperative while this is happening, begin by pulling their shirt over their head, thereby completely trapping their arms and face until it is once again safe to release them. They will then kick you.
3. Keeping one hand on the toddler, grab a bottle of sunscreen with the other. (Note: The brand of sunscreen doesn’t matter, but if you have a boy toddler, do not buy a pink bottle because he will then say that it’s only for “stoopid pwincesseth,” and you will then have to spend the next 20 minutes convincing him that sunscreen is not inherently gender-biased, and using it will not reflect poorly on his manhood.)
4. Still keeping one hand on the toddler, get out a shot glass and fill it with sunscreen. Per child experts, this is the proper amount of lotion you will need to put on your child. Per mother experts, it is also the proper amount of whiskey you will need to put in yourself after a big day of summer fun with your family.
5. Pour a bit of sunscreen onto your palm, then rub your hands together so it looks like you’re wearing two white gloves. Hold up your hands in the ready position, stare the toddler dead in the eye, then loudly announce, “Get ready! Here comes the sunscreen!”
7. As toddler repeatedly screams, “NO, NO! IT BUR-UNS!” and you repeatedly scream, “HOLD STILL!”, rub in the sunscreen as fast as your mothereffin’ hands can move. Feet, toes, legs, torso; if there’s skin, it’s gettin’ covered and it’s getting covered good. As God is your witness, there will be no sunburns this year. Not on your damn watch.
8. If things go bad and the slippery toddler pulls the patented “limp fish” move and manages to escape, give chase immediately. The little ones are usually easily caught. However, if you’re dealing with an evil genius toddler, you may find yourself in a rather tense stand-off situation as they scream, “You NOT the boss of me!” and threaten to roll their SPF-covered body all over your one nice couch. Should this happen, resist all urges to maim their Elmo doll with a meat thermometer, and instead, calmly call for back-up.
9. When back-up (Daddy) finally arrives, designate him as official Toddler Holder, then delicately yet furiously apply sunscreen to the little, unhappy face in front of you. Be sure to get the back of the neck and behind the ears, and if any lotion accidentally lands in the toddler’s eyes, mouth or nose and causes them to start howling like a drag queen at a Clay Aiken concert, simply wipe it off and say, “Oops, sorry! But that wouldn’t have happened if you’d stayed still like I asked you to, now would it?”
10. Once every square inch of the body is covered in a thin, white layer of lotion, wrangle the toddler into his brightly colored swimwear. Depending on the amount of push-back you receive, this may turn into either a TaeBo workout or an impromptu Pilates class. (Also, as this may quickly become a two-person task, do not let the official Toddler Handler go back to watching Sportscenter and eating his weight in chicken wings until the mission has been completed.)
11. Now that the toddler has more protection from the sun than a cellar-dwelling Eskimo in a HazMat suit, you’re finally good to go. Fling open the front door, grab your family and head on out for your day of fun! You deserve it. Oh, and don’t forget to take along your shot glass because the sunscreen will need to be reapplied every two hours.
The whiskey, every one.
The lovely and talented Ann over at Ann’s Rants finally gave in to my begging and pleading and whimpering, and let me participate in her Free Association Fridays today. Click on over!